We spent the third day climbing in and out of cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Monument.
From a distance, it looks like a rocky mountain with a few little caves in a beautiful canyon.
But when you get closer, you can see that some of the caves have been carved out
and there are remains of manmade structures.
The trail takes you past a pueblo and several kivas.
The pueblo used to be 2 stories tall and house 100 people.
|pueblo up close|
|pueblo from afar|
|kiva - used for religious activities, education and decision making|
Then the trail takes you to the cliff dwellings.
Several of the caves have been restored and you can climb in them.
People lived in this canyon for 400 years. By the late 1400s, 700 people lived here. Their life expectancy was only 35 years - that makes for a lot of generations living their whole lives in these caves. I like to fantasize about living life here. It seems peaceful and fulfilling. The canyon is beautiful and everyone you love lives right there with you.
|Clark had a rough day. Three busy days on the road made for a tired Clarky.|
|looking out one of the caves|
I learned so much on our hike about the inhabitants of this canyon. I printed out a 16 page guide before we went and had my nose tucked in it and read it out loud to everyone the whole time. My mom totally would have done that when I was a kid and I would've been so annoyed. I was just wandering around, dreaming of what life would be like here 600 years ago.